Rudyard Lake is a man made reservoir and is supplied from a feeder at the north end which runs from the river Dane.
At the south end the dam incorporates a ‘spillway’ which determines the maximum level of the water in the lake; when in use it provides a spectacular waterfall.
The outflow of water to the Caldon canal is controlled by valves in the two housings at the west end of the dam.
On days when there is heavy usage of water by leisure craft on the canal system the flow of water can be increased by opening these valves.
There is a constant battle between the need to ensure the canals have adequate water while still keeping sufficient water in the lake…
There is a constant battle between the need to ensure the canals have adequate water while still keeping sufficient water in the lake for its sailing, yachting and fishing needs.
This is most critical in the late summer months when there has been periods of low rainfall.
The Spillway in operation
Unfortunately, it’s a very rare sight to see it in action today due to how the water is regulated.
They say a picture is worth a thousand words and these 2004 images from the then British Waterways do a good job of explaining how the reservoir operates, and there’s also a few interesting shots from inside the valve well.
For more information about the Dam’s construction please read: John Rennie